MEMPHIS, TENN. (ECU) – Despite a season-high 27 offensive rebounds, the ECU women’s basketball team could not convert the second chances into points and fell 58-46 at Memphis on Saturday afternoon.
ECU (10-7, 1-3 AAC) was down to just eight healthy players on Saturday, but that did not prevent the Pirates from racking up offensive rebounds and steals. ECU finished with 27 offensive rebounds, compared to 20 for Memphis, and had 12 steals. However, the Pirates shot just 18-of-73 (.247) from the floor and 2-of-19 (.105) from behind the three-point arc.
In the first quarter, both teams’ defenses controlled the flow of the game. The Pirates took the lead on a pair of occasions. After Memphis scored the opening basket, Necole Hope hit a triple to give ECU a 3-2 lead. Two minutes later, Ariyana Williams hit a three of her own to break a 3-3 tie. The two teams were tied at 8-8 after Alex Frazier hit a jumper, and 10-10 after a Lashonda Monk layup. However, Memphis scored the final three points of the quarter, all on free throws, to take a 13-10 lead after one.
The Tigers’ momentum continued in the early part of the second quarter as Memphis began to separate itself. Three straight Memphis layups opened a nine-point cushion and forced an ECU timeout. The Pirates’ offense got going and went on a 6-2 run to answer, with Salita Greene, Hope and Monk all scoring. With the lead just five points, Desiree Corbin blocked a Memphis shot out of bounds, but the Pirates were whistled for a technical foul. Memphis hit the technical free throws then added a layup on the ensuing possession. The two teams traded baskets for the rest of the quarter until Memphis’ Taylor Barnes made a corner three for a 32-20 lead at the half.
Each team made a run in the third period. Memphis came out of the locker room on the front foot and started the period on a 7-2 run, including a pair of fastbreak layups. That made the score 39-22 with 8:21 remaining.
ECU cut into the Memphis lead methodically. Corbin pulled down an offensive rebound and put it back in. Two possessions later, Monk was fouled and made one free throw, the first of the game for ECU. After two Memphis turnovers, Justice Gee blocked a Tiger shot and then threw a pass ahead to Monk. Monk flew in for a layup but was injured on a Memphis foul. Williams stepped in a nailed both of the free throws.
Minutes later, ECU cut the lead to single digits when Frazier made a fast-break layup, making the score 43-34 with 3:07 left in the quarter. After a Memphis miss, Corbin hauled in another offensive rebound and was fouled. The senior stepped to the line and made both tries. That was as close as ECU got though. Memphis hit a three from the corner and then answered a Monk layup with a traditional three-point play to make the score 51-40 heading into the final 10 minutes.
In the fourth quarter, ECU continued to attack, but could not gain any traction. The Pirates pulled in 14 offensive rebounds in the quarter. Unfortunately, those second chances did not turn into points as ECU shot 3-of-26 (.115) in the quarter and never got closer than 11 points.
Monk led the Pirates in scoring, finishing with 12 points while Frazier added 10. Corbin hauled in a career-high 14 rebounds while Greene and Frazier finished with nine each. Monk led ECU with six steals while Hope had a team-high three assists.
For Memphis, Barnes tallied a team-best 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting while Jamirah Shutes had 16 of her own. Also scoring in double-figures was Alana Davis with 11. ECU outrebounded Memphis 49-47, but the Tigers held a 32-28 advantage on points in the paint and 21-12 edge in second-chance points.
ECU returns home on Wednesday evening for a meeting with UCF. The game will be broadcast by the American Digital Network from Minges Coliseum.